Lifetime Achievement Award

Donald Kalec

An expert in the field of architectural history-with a specialty in Prairie Style design-Kalec’s respect for the work of great architects is evident in his own restoration projects and his efforts to educate future preservationists. He served as chief architect during the $3 million restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio in Oak Park, which earned the American Institute of Architects’ Merit Award in 1987. As the national preservation movement continued to grow, Kalec recognized the need for a professional degree program in Illinois. After thoroughly researching existing programs, he proposed a new curriculum to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago that balanced preservation theory with hands-on experience. In 1993, the School implemented Kalec’s curriculum for graduate study in historic preservation. It remains the only full-time program in the state and, in the past decade, has trained over 100 students in architectural design, building conservation, architectural and social history, and preservation planning. Kalec received his architectural training at the University of Florida and studied as an apprentice at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture.

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